From plasters to tiaras, here’s a list of essential items to pack for your next family holiday

Family holidays should be fun. Picture: Pexels/ Tran Long

Family holidays should be fun. Picture: Pexels/ Tran Long

Published Apr 21, 2022


If you went on a family getaway over the Easter long weekend, you’re probably recovering.

While parents always look forward to a mini escape from the day-to-day routine, holidays with the kids aren't always as chilled as we’d like them to be.

For first-time parents or those who went on their first family holiday, I’m sure you’ve learnt a few lessons – probably the hard way – on what can go wrong on the trip.

Children nagging because they were bored, not packing enough clothes (or the wrong ones) or not having a “make it all better” plaster.

These are just a few things you might not have thought about before but, as the saying goes, you live and learn.

Winter school holidays will be upon us pretty soon and many families have started making plans. Here are a few tips on what to pack for your next getaway.

Before you start packing their suitcases, consider:

* Where are you going? Is it a hotel or self-catering?

* What kind of holiday is it? Adventure or stay-in?

* How long will you be away?

* What’s the weather like?

Taking all the factors into consideration and knowing exactly what your children like and dislike, here’s what you need to pack (If your little one is old enough, allow them to help pick out their favourite items):

Ask your little ones to help you pack. Picture: Pexels/Ketut Subiyanto

* One full outfit a day away. At least one top and bottom or dress a day. Make sure that items can easily be mixed and matched.

* Darker clothes. Avoid packing whites or light colours. The last thing you want is to constantly worry about your little one messing their clothes.

* Lots of underwear. At least two pairs of underwear a day. Don’t forget a few vests as well if it’s cold where you’re going.

* When it comes to PJs, make it at least three sets. Include a long-sleeved sleepwear or a gown.

* There’s no need to pack their entire shoe collection. Stick to the basics – sandals, sneakers and one pair of semi-formal shoes for when you decide to step out for dinner or a party. If rain is predicted, a pair of rainboots are always a winner.

* Always have a warm clothing item at hand. A light-knit hoodie and jacket are ideal.

Always pack something warm. Picture: Pexels/Taryn Elliott

* Don’t forget to check with your little one if there’s something they simply have to have. A girl without her tiara, fairy wings or ballet wings can be a very unhappy girl.

Don’t forget her tiara. Picture: Unsplash/Luwadlin Bosman

A few must-haves to pack:

* Basic medical kit - If your child is on chronic medication, it’s obvious that that’s the first item to pack. Also include a thermometer, pain and flu medication (paracetamol or ibuprofen) and plasters, because we all know that the tiniest little scratch needs a kiss and bandage.

* Toys - Of course your children will want to take their entire toy box with them, but allow them to pick three of their favourite toys and books. Don’t forget their cuddle plush toy for bedtime.

* Entertainment - A jumbo colouring and puzzle book with a pack of crayons goes a long way. Boardgames are fun for the whole family.

Crayons and paper can go a long way. Picture: Pexels/Liliana Drew